Trump pledges to honor 'One China' in call with Xi

Cheryl Sanders
February 11, 2017

He also upended four decades of diplomatic protocol by speaking by phone with Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory.

Trump spoke with Chinese president Xi Jinping on Thursday, according to the White House, in which he agreed to acknowledge the long-standing policy of the USA towards China.

The White House described the call as "extremely cordial" with both leaders expressing best wishes to their peoples.

The White House said earlier this week that Trump had sent a letter to Xi, weeks after receiving a letter of congratulations from the leader of the Asian giant.

Beijing responded cautiously, expressing "serious concern" about Mr Trump's position on the One China policy and urging the USA to maintain close ties with China. During his confirmation hearing, Tillerson promised to uphold the One China policy and unlike Trump, does not think we should use Taiwan "as a bargaining chip in a broader negotiation with China on trade and other issues".

"We highly appreciate President Trump's holiday greetings to President Xi Jinping and the Chinese people", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a press briefing.

While Trump's December remarks left much room for imagination, his latest statement merely indicates that he is returning to the United States' long-standing "one China" policy, Lo said. Beijing considers Taiwan, where Chinese nationalists fled to the island and established a government after losing the civil war in 1949, a "renegade province".

The two leaders had not spoken by telephone since Trump took office on January 20.

The White House is working with Congress on this issue, he said.

"These things need to happen in a very controlled environment for China, and China can't guarantee that with the unpredictable Trump", the diplomat said.

President Trump and his administration will honor the "one China" policy while in office, according to the White House.

The two heads of state finally made contact for the first time since Trump became president.

Trump's apparent refusal to accept this policy - which Beijing views as non-negotiable - had threatened to chill Washington's relations with the Asian giant.

Xi Jinping told Trump that Beijing wants to "boost mutually beneficial cooperation with the United States in various fields such as trade and economy, investment, science and technology, energy, culture and infrastructure".

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